2009: September 24, Pumpkin’s birth.

Our little Pumpkin arrived at 7:32 pm on Thursday, September 24th! She weighed 8 pounds and 14 ounces, and measured 20 and 3/4 inches long. She is incredibly strong, bright-eyed, and positively beautiful, with a head full of silky dark hair. She looks just like her daddy.

I was exactly a week “overdue”, and had an appointment with the OB on the morning of September 23rd. She stripped membranes (Google it if you have to) at that appointment, but she advised induction the following evening, since that day’s ultrasound showed that the baby was measuring above nine pounds.

The induction was scheduled for Thursday night (the 24th) at 5:00 pm, but Pumpkin was not to be upstaged…she decided to arrive on her own terms. Sometime between midnight and 3:00 am on Thursday morning, my water broke and we were off to the hospital before 6:00 am.

6:11 am. Ready to do this.

They started me on pitocin as soon as we got there since my  water had broken, but I wasn’t having regular contractions. I started contracting pretty uncomfortably by 8:00 am. By 9:00 am, the contractions were extremely painful and continued to get worse, and by noon I was throwing up from the pain — the only time I chucked during my whole pregnancy! I almost made it the whole nine months.

By 2:00 in the afternoon I was running a mysterious fever and so exhausted that I gave up on my plan to go drug free, and I ordered the epidural. A cousin had advised me during my pregnancy to “Not be a hero”, and that finally sunk in. I was going to take advantage of modern medicine, dammit.

By that time I was only about four centimeters dilated, and things were progressing slowly. The epidural allowed me to nap for about two hours, but I had a 101-degree fever, accompanied by chills — I simply couldn’t get warm.

4:11 pm. Unable to get warm, despite Chez Hospital’s heated blankets.

After the nap, the doctor checked my progress and expressed concern that my cervix had become swollen on one half and was unevenly dilated. That, combined with the baby’s estimated birth weight of around a hefty 9.6 pounds, they started talking about a Caesarean section. Keith and I were both pretty upset, but I laid back down, this time on my left side, rather than my right, and napped again for a little over an hour. I hadn’t even considered needing a C-section.

When the doctor came back to check on me around 6:00 pm, we were amazed to find that I had fully dilated during my short second nap (and now you know way more about my cervix than you probably ever wanted to), and we were told that I was ready to start pushing! Once again, Pumpkin was not to be upstaged by any kind of medical intervention. I started pushing around 6:40 pm on Thursday, and by 7:32 pm, we had our little girl, a little less than three hours after the induction was originally scheduled to begin that day!

Captain and I selfishly spent about an hour and a half alone with her, exploring her face and her fingers and her toes, and deciding on a name for her.

Everyone was thrilled to meet the tiniest new member of the family.

This is my, “Holy shit, I’m someone’s mom” face.

Pumpkin was alert and healthy after delivery, with Apgar scores of 8 and 9 at one and five minutes. She was put on two different antibiotic treatments since I ran a fever during delivery, and had to have a terrible-looking IV port put into her arm for the duration of our nearly three-day stay in the hospital. They wanted to keep her there to make sure she also didn’t develop a fever, and she never did. We called it her “Robo-arm”, making light of it…otherwise we probably would have cried each time we saw it.

The pediatrician assessed her to be “perfect” and called her “a rose”. All of the nurses commented on how extremely strong she is, and how sweet-tempered she is. She is also a healthy eater; breastfeeding is off to an amazing start, and she had actually started GAINING weight back before we even left the hospital, with her birthweight being 8.14 pounds, and when we were discharged, she was at 8.9. The pediatrician was impressed with that as well. We are so proud of her.

Welcome to the world, little sweetheart.

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